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 Post subject: design leap
PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2005 3:37 am 
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Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2001 12:37 pm
Posts: 356
Location: USA
We are seeing some interesting suggestions on different threads but Col. White was talking about mutual movement and I got to thinking (oh oh)[:)] are we tethered to old board games? We have two factors-the design of the games and the computerization of the games. I think it is amazing that we have people of the caliber to do both!!

Now, how big is the knowledge leap to go from computer games based on board games to games using more computer abilities such as those required to let both sides move at once? Do our esteemed designers already have this capability? Again, not being computer literate I find their computer design capabilities to be amazing but can they do even more?[:D]

Major General Tony Best
AOJ


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2005 4:11 am 
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Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 2:56 pm
Posts: 112
Location: USA, New Jersey, Ocean County
There is a new game out by Matrix called (I believe) Tin Soldiers, Battles of Alexander. It looks like a little ancients miniatures game, but what caught my attention in the review was that while it was a turn based game, the move were simultaneous -- both sides submitted orders. I don't think you can play it via email, but it dis support online play. I saw a demo at the Matrix web site. I thought it looked a little clumsy, but it does attempt to do what you suggest.

Note: the HPS games do have this capability for "command orders" play (I think that is what it is called). In which you give the commanders orders as to where they are to bring their units and what kind of offensive/defensive posture they are to take. I tried it a couple of times, but generally get bored after a couple of turns.

Lt Gen Bob Breen
Commanding 4th Bde, 2nd Div, VI Corps, AoS
"Where we lead, the Army follows" - VI Corps


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2005 5:32 am 
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Location: USA
Plot/move games go back to the early pc days. I have several that were originally bought for the Atari 800XL computer (not the game system) in the late 80's along with some for my IBM XT. These included War In Russia and Kampfgruppe from SSI, the V for Victory series and several others. Many of these games were written under the old 64K and 640K programming limits. The graphics were ridiculous by todays standards but some of the game engines were excellent. The AI's weren't very good but playing with my friends we had some excellent games.

Lt.Gen.Ken Miller
Veteran's Divsion
VIII / AoS


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2005 8:55 am 
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Location: United Kingdom
What about Combat Mission, the WWII series by Battlefront? That enabled both sides to move/fight at the same time and was kind of both turn based and realtime. I'm sure that could be adapted to 19th century warfare.

Lt. Gen. Antony Barlow
CO, XIV Corps,
XO, Army of the Cumberland
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2005 12:30 pm 
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Location: USA
I have tinkered with the idea but plot and simultaneous movement does have its problems.

First, for the player it can become really difficult to keep track of what you have or haven't done. This becomes more of a problem as the unit density goes up. A few squads in Combat Mission can be managed, but how about a brigade?

Second, the the simultaneous move also means the computer has to make "intelligent" decisions about what to do when the "orders" don't work. As we have seen in our "Turn" based opportunity fire a lousy AI can cripple this system.

Third, how to handle play by mail. I have been pondering how to do this and it isn't as easy as first glance would make it appear. Consider, both sides have to plot their move and then exchange the "secret" plots. No problem here but then you must execute it and this can't be done but with one side's computer. Then you must record some very complicated action and send it to the other player so he to can see the result. Anyone who has played the ACW: Sumnter to Appomattox game have seen this problem and its a relatively simple game in terms of number of hexes and units in play.



Col. Kennon Whitehead
Chatham Grays
III Corps, AoM (CSA)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2005 5:13 pm 
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Posts: 191
Location: USA
I was ordering the upcoming HPS PZC game from NWS and I saw they had the History Channel Civil War: 1st Bull Run for $18, so I thought Id give it a try. Sounds like what the real-time guys are talking about and the price is right. I don't hold much hope though, most real time games (Combat Mission, Sid Meier, etc.) never really caught my fancy. Maybe this one will. Anyone try it yet?

Major General Dirk Gross
CAV DIV/XIV Corps/AoC


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2005 6:34 pm 
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<blockquote id="quote"><font size="3" face="book antiqua" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Dirk Gross</i>
<br />I was ordering the upcoming HPS PZC game from NWS and I saw they had the History Channel Civil War: 1st Bull Run for $18, so I thought Id give it a try. Sounds like what the real-time guys are talking about and the price is right. I don't hold much hope though, most real time games (Combat Mission, Sid Meier, etc.) never really caught my fancy. Maybe this one will. Anyone try it yet?

Major General Dirk Gross
CAV DIV/XIV Corps/AoC

<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

General Gross,

I may be mistaken, but I think this is a first-person shooter game, along the lines of "Doom" but using ACW weapons & scenery.


Your humble servant,
LGen 'Dee Dubya' Mallory

David W. Mallory
ACW - Lieutenant General, First ('Grey Line') Corps, AotM
CCC - Corporal, Georgia Volunteers, Southern Regional Deaprtment, Colonial American Army


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2005 12:04 am 
As Gen Barlow mentioned, Combat Mission uses a turnbased "wego" system. It isn't a real time game as Gen Gross commented. Most turnbased games are the "I go/U go" system. I don't see what would be wrong with using wego in ACW games. You plot your orders, can set range limits/directions for oportunity fire, or plot a target. In CM you can differentiate between firing only at armor or at any target. So in an ACW version you might be able to set a unit to only fire at arty, or inf or cav. Then you email the file to your opponent to do his orders. Then he sends it to you to watch the replay of the turn, back to him to see the replay and then do his new orders, etc, etc. It takes away the possibility of someone redoing their move till it goes the way the want it. Maybe you could toggle on or off whether you want a unit to get resupplied from an ammo wagon. Lots of possibilities. Also I'd suggest it have new line of sight rules where units aren't automattically spotted just because they are in line of sight. Have distance and whether they're stationary, moving, firing, terrain, weather all have an effect. And maybe the quality of the spotting units be considered. And if one was to be doing all this, then other things brought up could be cnsidered in a design as well, such as crewing captured guns, recapture, etc. One could go to www.battlefront.com and download a free demo to see what we're saying.

BGen, 2/XIX/AoS


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2005 4:05 am 
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Posts: 149
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Gen. Mallory,

You couldn't be more mistaken! [:D] If the designers of Bull Run heard someone say their game was a first-person shooter they'd probably fall down and die. Dirk, I think you will be VERY pleasantly surprised by Bull Run: Take Command 1861. I preordered it due to its low price and when I got it in mid-January I was hooked. The game is literally 1:1 real time, so a 2-hour engagement will last, you guessed it, 2 hours of real time. You are given command of first Brigades, then Divisions, then Armies at First Bull Run. You do not have absolute control over sub-units unless you hit the "take command" button. Otherwise, you can order your men to certain spots, but your commanders under you will always try to find the best cover and fight for themselves. Depending on their aggressiveness (Jackson and Tyler spring to mind here), they may even attack prematurely when that is the last thing you wanted them to do. I've created a fan website for that game similar to my fan website for the HPS games. It's called the Harper's Ferry Arsenal and it is at:
http://www.brettschulte.net/MMGACW/

Also, to get a better idea of this game, go to http://www.madminutegames.com

If, after looking at the screenshots and descriptions of the game you (and this you is for anyone reading this) decide it looks good, go to the MMG forums where the game is constantly being discussed.

Myself and two others have already started creating Second Bull Run scenarios for the game, and they are hosted at the Harper's Ferry Arsenal.

<blockquote id="quote"><font size="3" face="book antiqua" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by dmallory</i>I may be mistaken, but I think this is a first-person shooter game, along the lines of "Doom" but using ACW weapons & scenery.
<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

-Capt. Brett Schulte 2nd Bde, 1st Div., III Corps, AotM, ACWGC
http://www.brettschulte.net/hps_acw.htm


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2005 3:44 pm 
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Posts: 191
Location: USA
Dee Dubya picked up on what a lot of us thought (I bet) when we heard the name of the game. I wonder how many sales they've lost by associating with the History Channel and that lame civil war fps they came out with. Well, maybe that's harsh because it may have met the designer's intent of a simple civil war shoot'em up. But it wasn't a game to endear them to the serious wargamer. Anyway, Can you Brett or anyone compare this one to the Sid Meier's Civil War games? I really had trouble getting a handle on Meier's games, but this one seems to have more of a grognard sound to it. I remember something about Sid Meier stressing the game feel over technical details and maybe that's why I was cold to his games. Civilization, on the other hand kept me awake into the wee hours many nights. I'm looking forward to seeing how the interface will make controlling the formations work, especially as the troop sizes increase.

Not to belabor a point about Combat Mission, but the Combat Mission manual itself refers to it's "real-time action phases" and it's "hybrid system of turns and real time".

Major General Dirk Gross
CAV DIV/XIV Corps/AoC


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 3:33 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2001 1:11 pm
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Location: USA
Dirk,

I sure can. This one seems more "zoomed in" than Sid Meier's SMG and SMA games. It is also much slower in terms of the 1:1 real time. For instance, you could play the entire Battle of Gaines Mill (a mod for SMG) in an hour or so eden though it lasted all day. A Bull Run (hereafter referred to as BRTC1861) mod of Gaines Mill would literally take you as long as the real Battle of Gaines Mill took. SMG and SMA focus more on overall days of battle, while BRTC1861 focuses more on Division-level combat, although it seems to work almost as well for larger engagements. Also, the AI seems to work a little better in BRTC1861, espeically the logig governing artillery. Most of the veteran SMG and SMA gamers over at Mad Minute Games' forums say BRTC1861 has made them forget about the old games. You might also want to ask this question over on the MMG forums. The SMG Grognards will tell you everything you need to know.

<blockquote id="quote"><font size="3" face="book antiqua" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Dirk Gross</i>Anyway, Can you Brett or anyone compare this one to the Sid Meier's Civil War games?

Major General Dirk Gross
CAV DIV/XIV Corps/AoC

<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">



-Capt. Brett Schulte 2nd Bde, 1st Div., III Corps, AotM, ACWGC
http://www.brettschulte.net/hps_acw.htm


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 7:29 am 
I like BRTC. I was surprised by how much I do like it having been a SMG grognard for years. I would highly reccomend it for the money. I cannot put it on a plane as high as SMG yet for the simple reason it lacks multiplayer capability. Assuming they add this soon I would say its the next step up from SMG which is high praise given my love of SMG and SMA.

Maj.Gen. Mike Smith
I Corps, Commanding
Army of Georgia
[url="http://convolutedmuse.blogspot.com//"]Convoluted Muse[/url]


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 10:46 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2001 1:11 pm
Posts: 149
Location: USA
Mike,

I knew I was forgetting something, and it turned out to be an important something! That same subject has been brought up at the MMG forums as well. They are deciding between multiplayer, or some "strategic" aspect. For my money, I really, really hope they go multiplayer. I haven't played a strategic level Civil War game that works yet, IMHO, at least not on computer. I'm holding out hope for Gary Grigsby's upcoming (hopefully, no details other than cryptic references at the moment) Civil War game based on World At War will be something worthwhile, as well as Frank Hunter's latest incarnation of Road From Sumter to Appomattox.

<blockquote id="quote"><font size="3" face="book antiqua" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Michael Smith</i>
<br />I cannot put it on a plane as high as SMG yet for the simple reason it lacks multiplayer capability. Assuming they add this soon I would say its the next step up from SMG which is high praise given my love of SMG and SMA.

Maj.Gen. Mike Smith
I Corps, Commanding
Army of Georgia
[url="http://convolutedmuse.blogspot.com//"]Convoluted Muse[/url]






<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

-Capt. Brett Schulte 2nd Bde, 1st Div., III Corps, AotM, ACWGC
http://www.brettschulte.net/hps_acw.htm


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 1:47 pm 
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Posts: 191
Location: USA
Thanks for the info. I'll check out the forums while I'm waiting for the game to arrive. [8D]


Major General Dirk Gross
CAV DIV/XIV Corps/AoC


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 9:00 pm 
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See my other post today (in Draft Simultaneous Movement System Suggestion) for a possible solution to some of the game's problems that wouldn't require an engine change, only scenario designers with plenty of time on their hands!

Any thoughts on the idea of switching to a 1:50yd hex scale with 10 minute turns instead of the current standard 1:100yd and 20 minute turns? Since it would effectively double ranges and halve stacking surely this would give guns more time to fire before having to limber up and avoid melee and would also make it harder to get good melee odds, thus fire tactics would tend to prevail.

Col. Rich White
3 Brig. Phantom Cav Div
III Corps ANV


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